The Sunday Blog comes at you now that we know the College Football Playoff teams and Florida’s bowl game:
- Is Georgia one of the top four teams in the country? No doubt. Is Alabama relieved not to have to play the Bulldogs again? Yessir. Did Georgia belong in the CFP? Nope. The committee got it right even when it did not. Based on the protocols handed to the committee, you could not put Georgia in over Oklahoma even though we all know Georgia is the better team. The Sooners lost one game by three points, avenged that loss and won a conference championship. Georgia was hammered at LSU and did not win a championship. I get the Georgia argument, but I had the Bulldogs fifth on my ballot as well. Some of that is based on what I have seen all year, some of it is based on pure numbers. Georgia had its shot.
- So what we will have in the Orange Bowl will likely be a battle between the first and second choices for the Heisman Trophy. Think that game will have any hype? I’m not sure in can eclipse the ratings of the SEC title game, which was the most watched college football game in seven years on any network. It’s difficult to see anything but an Alabama-Clemson rematch just because Oklahoma’s defense is so bad. One thing that stood out watching the Big 12 title game was the lack of a pass rush on either side. That conference simply doesn’t have the physical freaks that we see in the South.
- It was no big surprise Florida landed in the Peach Bowl against Michigan (especially if you read it in my column earlier this week). The UF-UCF matchup didn’t happen because the New Year’s Six bowls believe in sharing the burden of landing a Group of Five team and a game in Glendale, Ariz., simply isn’t appealing for ratings or ticket sales if there were two Florida teams. It’s interesting that Florida had never played Michigan before the 2002 Outback Bowl and now will be playing the Wolverines three times in four seasons. (UF is 0-4 against Michigan). I assume that because Jim McElwain is headed to Central Michigan he won’t hang around to be the Michigan wide receivers coach for this game. It would have been an easy story for bowl week.
- There were a lot of people who wanted Georgia to make the final four because they believed leaving three conferences out would accelerate the move to an expanded playoff. I don’t sense that we’ll see that happen any time soon and by soon I mean in the next decade. The people that matter have no interest in it. The bigger questions concern the Big Ten, left out for the second straight year, and the Pac-12, left out for the third straight year. Here’s how bad things are for the Pac-12 — the crowd was announced at 35,134 and it looked like about half of that and the commish of the league Larry Scott was booed when he was on the field.